James Bernard |
HARLINGEN/TYLER, TX. -- James Bernard Ewbank, long-time resident of Tyler, Texas passed away peacefully in Harlingen, Texas on August 25, 2014 at the age of 83.
He stated so many times, "I've lived a dream life, having flown jet fighters, played college football and basketball, and I've enjoyed a wonderful, happy marriage and family." He will always be remembered for his honor, dedication, generosity and great sense of humor.
Jim was born in Sayre, Oklahoma, the youngest of three boys to Lance and Trilba Ewbanks, and graduated from Norman High School. He began his college career at Colorado A & M (now Colorado State University) on a football scholarship and became a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. In 1950, college was put on hold when he was called to active duty with the Oklahoma Air National Guard and stationed in Alexandria, Louisiana. When he was discharged in 1952, he entered the Air Force pilot training program through the National Guard.
In 1954, Mr. Ewbank returned to Norman, married Carolyn McLean and obtained his bachelor's degree in petroleum geology from Oklahoma University. He began his geology career at Lone Star Production Company in Lafayette, Louisiana and also worked for Delta Drilling Company. He later formed Ewbank Exploration, an independent exploration company in Tyler, Texas.
Additionally, Mr. Ewbank was a highly respected high school and college football and basketball referee throughout the East Texas area. He was named a Life Member of the Southwest Officials Association and a first inductee into the Tyler Basketball Officials Association Hall of Fame. Professionally, he received the Pioneer Award from the East Texas Geological Society and was honored in 2007 as an East Texas Legend, presented by Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. He was a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the East Texas Geological Society, where he was a past president, vice president and secretary/treasurer.
He was a true renaissance man and because of his love of music and theater, Mr. Ewbank was a member of the advisory council for the UT Tyler Friends of the Arts and a board member of Opera East Texas. He was a member of the Chancellors Council for the University of Texas System, a member of the Heritage Society, University of Texas at Tyler and the geological advisor to Houston Wilderness for the Houston Atlas of Biodiversity. He also served on the board of directors of East Texas Savings and Loan.
Mr. Ewbank served in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, the United States Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard. He retired in 1977 with the rank of Lt. Colonel.
He is predeceased by his parents, his loving wife Carolyn, and oldest brother, Jack. Left to cherish Andad's (as his family called him) memories is his son, James B. Ewbank, II (Orlinda Naranjo) of Austin, Texas and daughter, Robin Ewbank Farris (Bobby) of Harlingen, Texas, four grandchildren, Alena Skelley (Jonathan), McLean Ewbank, Houston Farris (Christy) and HollyAnne Jenkins (Daniel). He is also survived by four great-grandchildren: Simone and Adrienne Skelley, Holden Farris and Caroline Jenkins. His older brother, Bob (Tommie) also survives him, as well as many nieces and nephews and scores of loving friends near and far. Just as Jim was always thoughtful and supportive of those he loved, Jim's family is extremely grateful to his girlfriend, Rosie Zamora, who loved our dad and made his life full and helped to give us many more years with him.
We also thank Ruby and Paul Navarette and their family, caregivers Olga Gutierrez, Oralia Frias and Lisa Morales for their devoted and loving care during his time of declining health. For this, we thank you.
Andad's main wish was that he be remembered with kind thoughts and that no sadness come with his passing. A celebration of his life will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler, Texas at a later date.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to the Carolyn McLean Ewbank Endowed Scholarship fund at the University of Texas at Tyler at 3900 University Blvd., Tyler, Texas 75799 to provide scholarships to students studying psychology or music or the charity of one's choosing.
You are invited to sign the online guestbook or share a memory at www.buckashcraft.com.
Published in Valley Morning Star on Aug. 31, 2014